Monday, July 30, 2007
This weekend, Mrs. Smitty and I took a little trip to Toronto. What a riot. First, I have to tell you, Mrs. Smitty is the best wife ever. Does Mrs. Smitty want to go to Toronto to see a show? No. Mrs. Smitty wants to go to Toronto to see Rogers Stadium and Air Canada Arena. And even better: is it because she likes the Jays and the Leafs? No. She wanted to go swear at 'em. She says, in the middle of Air Canada Arena, "hey, this place isn't so great. Their freakin' goalie's a seive and the Leafs are criminals."
I love Mrs. Smitty.
And then we went by the Hockey Hall of Fame. Her idea. I won, boys. I won. Best wife ever.
But the other awesome part of our Toronto getaway (besides for the fact that Smitty Jr. was under the watchful eye of Mom & Dad Smitty back in the States) was the beer. Mrs. Smitty and I ate and drank at a fine little brewery called the Mill Street Brewery. Their coffee porter was absolutely everything I like in a porter. Expect an Official Review this Friday. Mrs. Smitty enjoyed a few pints of their Tankhouse Ale which was an amazingly well-balanced red ale. The Mill Street Brewery in in a little section of Toronto called the Distillery. It's an old whiskey distilling complex that has been converted into multiple restaurants and shops. Great feel to it.
Anyway, taking the Street Car back from the Distillery district towards downtown-proper, we passed a place called the Beer Bistro. We made a simultaneous grab at the little yellow cable that tells the driver to stop, and off we raced like kids at Disney Land.
Here's a pic of the beer list...you may not be able to read it, but that's how extensive it was.
I was vastly impressed and we spent a good deal of time there. What was unique was that their list was built for the novice beer drinker. Instead of being llisted in terms of style (poter, stout, beligan. etc.) it was listed in terms of taste (refreshing and fruity, robust and heavy, etc.). They did a really nice job of putting the right beers in the right types of flavors. What a great and creative way to have beer reach a non-beer-drinking crowd.
Some highlights: Our first night, we ate in a restaurant called Verona, on Front St. Wow. I had a grilled lamb tenderloin that melted when it hit my tongue. I didn't even have to chew it. Mrs. Smitty at a lobster ravioli. Granted, the cognac sauce it was drowned in was cloyingly sweet and a little strong, but it too was actually breath-taking. This restaurant comes highly recommended. We drank a a pub that night on Madison St. (the Madison St. pub, strangely). Great atmosphere; it's just off of the intersection of Bloor and Spadina near the U. of Toronto. Big college-aged crowd there...but apparently their college kids aren't nearly the self-centered dickhead college kids that we breed in the States. Nice kids. Nice pub. Go there. Our second night, after a whole day of drinking, we didn't start looking for dinner until like 9:00 that night. Stumbled on a great sushi restaurant on Yonge St. Don't know its name; I can't read kanji. All I know is that their cuts of fish were fresh as can be with great texture; the salmon was melt-in-the-mouth smooth and the uni (sea urchin) was nicely chilled and beautifully robust. And the amount of fish we got was worth at least $80 in the States...and we got it for under $40. So much, we couldn't finish it.
All in all, despite waits at the border of an hour in and an hour and a half back out, Mrs. Smitty and I enjoyed a great city and some great beer!